The body nucleus
in The extended self
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This chapter opens with a brief look at the perception of the human body in architectural design and theory. It then moves to a more detailed look at the writings of Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Michael Polanyi on the body as the nucleus or fulcrum of human experience. Though neither author wrote directly about the architecture or the urban form, their work has significant implications for understanding the way people relate to their environment. Of the two, Merleau-Ponty is the better-known author and a philosopher in the same school of thought as Martin Heidegger, both of whom in turn acknowledge Edmund Husserl as the intellectual father of phenomenology. Together with Polanyi's writings on 'tacit knowing' of the same period, Merleau-Ponty's work offers the most illuminating insights of the last century on the interrelations between consciousness, bodily experience and spatial awareness.

The extended self

Architecture, memes and minds

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